Culture Corner: Top 5 Reasons Las Vegas Teachers LoVVe Spring Break
Here at Teach For America HQ, we don’t get a spring break ourselves (sad trombone). But because we have the hardest working teachers in the biz (and it’s quite a hard working biz!) we encourage them to take the most elaborate and/or restful spring breaks possible. Next week, when our teachers exit their classrooms for that much-storied week, some amazing adventures await. We asked them to share some of their plans with us. Both so we can live vicariously, and so we can celebrate their awesomeness with you:
The Home Sweet Home
Alberto Loaiza (LVV ’16), will take advantage of the week off to travel back to Los Angeles to spend some time with his mother and family. It’s only a four-hour drive (traffic permitting), but it’s a necessary break for a man who has dedicated the last eight months to helping 11th graders at Sunrise Mountain High School stay on track to graduation. The thing he’s most looking forward to? Sleeping in and eating his mother’s cooking. We don’t blame you, Mr. Loaiza. Please post food photos and tag us as the cheese.
The Beach Bum Adventure
What’s the one thing missing from sunny, warm Las Vegas? Well, THE BEACH. For this reason (and no other) Dominique De Baisio, Taylor Hudson, and Katie Demarest (LVV ‘15) have booked one-way (kidding! two-way) tickets to our sister region to the west—Hawai’i—for a luxurious, week-long beach trip. We aren't jealous. Not at tall. Their plan, according to Dominique, is "lots of beach time, snorkeling, visiting local breweries, and possibly a bike ride around the island of Maui.” A break from conference calls and grading? Fine, fine. Enjoy!
The Outdoor Experience
A steep aspiration for educational equity is not the only lofty structure Chris Ketchum (LVV ‘16) will be climbing this year: over break, he’ll be bouldering his way over some of Utah’s rockiest peaks, as well as meeting Chris Turner and Lauren Iverson (LVV ‘16) to hike through Moab. A bit of fresh air and some heavily calloused toes is what this trio craves before they reenter the classroom and ready their students for their fourth quarter achievements. And why not? Rock climbing and teaching are not unrelated disciplines.
The School Trip
As if being a beloved elementary teacher wasn’t enough, Melanie Aldridge is making us all proud by using her Spring Break for the most impressive purpose of all: to lead! She's taking a group of ambitious 5th graders from Booker Elementary on the trip of a lifetime: to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. While this might not technically qualify as a “week off” for Melanie, it certainly shares our regional value of One LoVVe. What better way to transmit a LoVVe of learning to young Las Vegans than taking them—in person—to our most important national center of power? One day, when one of Melanie’s students is a first term congressman, then she can take a real week off.
I mean, why leave for vacation when you live in one of the nation’s top vacation destinations? Many of our corps members (and myself, too, when I was in the classroom a few years back), choose to take this week to stay home, sleep-in, recharge, and (occasionally) plan and prepare for the most successful fourth quarter known to humankind. While grading over break isn’t the most exciting thing (and, for the record, we DO NOT recommend it!), there is something special about waking after the sun rises, going to Starbucks at noon for a latte, taking a hike at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and then heading out to The Strip for a fancy dinner and dancing with a LoVVed one.
And why not—it’s Spring Break!